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Benefits Other Than Salary

According to Glassdoor.com, nearly 3 in 5 people report benefits and perks being among their top considerations before accepting a job. Make sure you’re getting the best possible package by researching, asking questions, and discussing the details prior to accepting any position. Below are a few benefits that you should thoroughly review and understand:

Vacation

Some employers may grant all vacation days at the beginning of the year and allow the employee to use them as needed. However, some employers will offer an accrued vacation plan. The accrued plan is set up so that the employee earns a specific number of vacation hours toward their total vacation time per pay period.

Insurance Premium

The amount you pay for your health insurance every pay period. In addition to your premium, you usually have to pay other costs for your health care, such as deductibles and copayments. When shopping for a plan, keep in mind that the plan with the lowest monthly premium may not be the best match. If you frequently need health care, a plan with a slightly higher premium but a lower deductible may save you a lot of money. 

Deductible

The amount you pay for covered health care services before your insurance plan starts to pay. With a $2,000 deductible, for example, you pay the first $2,000 of covered services yourself. Generally, plans with lower monthly premiums have higher deductibles. Plans with higher monthly premiums usually have lower deductibles.

401K Plan

A retirement plan offered to you through your employer. With a 401(k), you control how your money is invested. Most plans offer a wide variety of mutual funds composed of stocks, bonds, and money market investments. Many employers will match your 401K contributions up to a certain percentage of your salary. Your payout typically depends on how long you worked for your employer and on your salary. When you retire, you can choose between a lump-sum payout or a monthly "annuity" payment.

Tuition Reimbursement

A contract between an employer and employee that outlines specific terms under which the employer may pay for the employee's continuing education. The amounts and types of tuition assistance may vary greatly. Employers may cover full or partial tuition costs. Requirements could include maintaining a minimum GPA or working a specific amount of time before being eligible for the benefit.

Telecommuting

Also known as working remotely, telecommuting is a work arrangement in which the employee works outside the office, often working from home. Some companies offer this as an option if your position allows you to do so. If you are interested, be sure to discuss this benefit before accepting the job offer.

Employee Assistance Program

A program that encourages associates and their families to seek help when needed, at no cost. An EAP often includes services such as assessments, counseling, and referrals for additional services to employees with personal and/or work-related concerns such as stress, finances, legal issues, family problems, etc.

Asking questions regarding a company’s benefits package may not seem crucial when you first receive the offer. However, you will soon realize that this discussion will not only eliminate any surprises when it comes time to use your benefits, but it will allow you to negotiate items before you accept.

“It’s better to look ahead and prepare than to look back and regret” – Jackie Joyner Kersee

About the author

Kaitlin Hohenberger

Kaitlin Hohenberger is a Career Counselor at Engineering Career Services.